Actual news*

*...based on actual news

LAWRENCE: A GREAT PLACE TO SLOWLY DIE!

U.S. News & World Report magazine last week named Lawrence as one of the "10 Best Places to Retire." U.S. News cites Lawrence for having lush, green surroundings, plus a variety of features-including Lied Center performances, an active community arts center and theater, a vibrant downtown, a longtime farmers market and "a perennial power in men's basketball," KU-that can appeal to retirees.*:To prepare for the influx of retirees as a result of the U.S. News article, east Lawrence will be demolished and replaced with an Old Country Buffet-themed golf course. Townies, initially opposed to Lawrence's status as a retirement haven, are now glad that they won't be the oldest people at The Replay anymore.

OK COMPUTER THIEVERY

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AP Photo

Last weekend, Radiohead announced its new album "In Rainbows" will be available Oct. 10 exclusively via the band's site inrainbows.com. The real kicker: customers will be able to pay as much or as little as they like for the download. Radiohead completed their contract with the EMI record label with their last album, "Hail to the Thief," and has since made no effort to hide their loathing of the music industry. Even for iTunes. The math on an iTunes purchase is roughly 30 percent to Apple, 70 percent to the label, of which the artist typically gets 8 to 14 percent, according to reports-or about $0.80 to $1.40 per album sold digitally. For the band to come out on top, they need only clear a buck-fifty per sale.*...If you don't make a donation, Thom Yorke's weird eyeball will come to your door and stare at you until you feel bad.

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AP Photo

'MOUD FOR THOUGHT

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while in New York for the United Nations general assembly last week, spoke at Columbia University amidst protest and a less than hospitable reception. Columbia president Lee Bollinger introduced the Ahmadinejad as "a petty and cruel dictator," adding, "You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated." Bollinger, widely criticized for inviting the controversial leader in the first place, verbally attacked the Iranian president for denying the Holocaust and being the head of a state sponsor of terrorism. Ahmadinejad then spoke for two hours on a wide range of issues, including assertions that politicians who pursue nuclear weapons are "retarded" and that there are no homosexuals in Iran.*:Upon learning that Ahmadinejad is an intolerant authoritarian who hates Jews and homosexuals, a "Draft Mahmoud" movement has begun among Republican primary voters disappointed that Newt Gingrich isn't running.

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AP Photo

PUNISHMENT TO FIT THE MIME

Marcel Marceau, master of the silent theater known as mime, died at the age of 84 last week. Marceau is credited with single handedly revived the art of mime, which dates to antiquity and continued in relative obscurity until the 19th century. "France loses one of its most eminent ambassadors," President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a statement. "I have a feeling that I did for mime what (Andres) Segovia did for the guitar, what (Pablo) Casals did for the cello," Marceau once said of himself.*:For popularizing the art of mime and spawning an entire generation of Frenchmen in leotards and white face paint, Marceau is damned to an eternity of watching Cirque du Soleil in hell. It was later revealed that the famously mute Marceau was accidentally buried alive and, ironically, spent his few remaining moments on Earth screaming loudly.

AUTO NEUROTIC

Auto giant General Motors and the United Auto Workers union tentatively reached an agreement on a contract last week after a nationwide strike. The contract between GM and the UAW-which has yet to be approved by union vote-would allow GM to close a plant each in Michigan and Indiana and possibly shut down several other facilities, but features pledges to expand production at existing plants and secure retiree health benefits. "This isn't a very genuine job security agreement," said GM worker Greg Shotwell. "The UAW didn't win anything."*:In another major concession, UAW negotiators will let GM replace every union health insurance plan with a single tube of HeadOn.

REBEL QUELL

A standoff in the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar between government forces and pro-democracy activists turned violent last week when the military junta gave troops a shoot-to-kill order, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 people, possibly many more. Military leaders also have imposed a curfew, locked anti-government monks in their monastery and sharply curtailed communication out of the isolated country, silencing street demonstrations known as the "Saffron Revolution" that at their peak had attracted tens of thousands of protesters. The government has even gone so far as to "turn off" the internet, only allowing e-mails to be sent in country and prohibiting all but state run websites to be viewed. Sanctions against Myanmar-formerly known as Burma-have stalled in the United Nations because of opposition from Russia and China, who don't want to jeopardize lucrative oil and natural gas agreements struck with the military dictatorship.*:The Myanmar government has denied that it's cracking down on free speech by curtailing internet access, saying that they're "just really sick of seeing that creepy Britney Spears kid on YouTube." Chris Crocker responded by issuing a statement saying, "Leave Burma ALONE!"

BULLY FUNDED

The House and Senate last week voted to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, a move which would provide health coverage for millions of uninsured children, despite a veto promise from President Bush. The bill would add $35 million to SCHIP and provide coverage to nearly 4 million low-income children, winning a veto-proof majority in the Senate but falling short in the House. "Our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage," said Bush of his opposition to the bill. *:Once he denies health care to millions of children, Bush has promised to introduce the "No HMO Left Behind Act," which will force every poor kid in America to be infected with a really long and expensive case of AIDS.

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YE OLDE DOUCHEBAGGERY

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival began last week, bringing the world of medieval culture and customs to life at the Bonner Springs festival grounds. The "Ren Fest" boasts 162 shops, 500 costumed characters and 20 stages of activities and will be open until October 14.*:Tis verily an enchanted faire which combineth unflattering codpieces and corsets, rancid turkey flesh, and anachronistic accents spoken by foul-smelling pretentious cretins into the single most annoying experience you'll ever waste twenty pounds upon! Huzzah!

BLOWING A HALOAD

Following months of hype and media saturation, Halo 3 launched for the Xbox 360 last week. The latest installment of the popular first-person shooter franchise on Microsoft's video game console earned an estimated $170 million dollars in its first 24 hours on sale. The game has won glowing reviews, but the release was slightly marred by certain copies being released with scratches on the disc.*:Once they finally got their hands on a copy of Halo 3, man-children everywhere began weeping tears of Mountain Dew's Game Fuel. An epidemic of the "Halo Virus" broke out the morning after the release as employees called in sick to play marathon sessions of Halo 3, and scientists warn that never-ending online play could mutate the "Halo Virus" into "Halo Diabetes." (Check out our review of Halo 3 here.)

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